Saudis on Twitter are once again debating widespread harassment of women in the kingdom, after a video of a black SUV harassing women on the streets was shared online.
Two niqab-wearing Saudi women can be seen being stalked and harassed by a car driver in Buraydah, the capital of Al-Qassim Region in Saudi Arabia.
The video that has been widely shared on social media shows a black four wheel car driver who persistently follows the two women, head-covered and dressed in black Abayas, the mandatory Muslim cloaks worn by women in the kingdom.
Furious Social media users appealed to the Saudi authorities to intervene and arrest the ‘the offender’.
In the ultra-conservative country, stalking or any sexually-motivated harassment is strictly forbidden.
Offenders could be punished by up to two years in prison.
Saudi women face systematic discrimination and are left exposed to domestic violence under the male guardianship system and have few places to turn when they face abuse, leading some women to undertake dangerous escape attempts to flee the country.
Under the male guardianship system, a man controls a Saudi woman’s life from her birth until her death.
Every Saudi woman must have a male guardian, normally a father or husband, but in some cases a brother or even a son, who has the power to make a range of critical decisions on her behalf. The Saudi state essentially treats women as permanent legal minors.
Saudi Arabia has done very little to end the system, which remains the most significant impediment to women’s rights in the country.